The University of Iowa

UI professor to teach and conduct research in Mexico as a Fulbright scholar

March 1st, 2019

UI Associate Professor Leslie Locke sits in her office in the College of Education

The University of Iowa is thrilled to announce that Leslie Ann Locke, assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Iowa, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico for the 2019-20 academic year.

"The faculty Fulbright programs are highly prestigious, and I am delighted that Professor Locke has been selected for this opportunity in Mexico," said Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of UI International Programs.

The Fulbright Program, which aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, sending U.S. faculty to academic institutions abroad to serve as expert consultants on curriculum and related subjects. Scholars not only teach and conduct research but build relationships with people in their host country. 

"I'm excited to be working with Dr. Pedro Sánchez Escobedo (also a Hawkeye and a Fulbrighter!) from the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán in Mérida," said Locke.

While in Mexico, Locke will be co-teaching a graduate course with Dr. Escobedo and working on a collaborative research project that centers on the perspectives of public school leaders and teachers regarding their work as educators and serving students and families with the most need. 

"Scholarship has suggested that many of the marginalizing experiences encumbered by Latinx students in U.S. public schools are similar to those experienced by Mexican youth in Mexican public schools; however, poverty is much more extreme in Mexico," said Locke. "I foresee my Fulbright experience as allowing me to obtain a better understanding of the public school system in Mexico and the experiences of Mexican educators and students. I believe this will inform and support my scholarship concerning the schooling of students from marginalized groups in the U.S.—and how educational leaders and education policy might best address their needs."

As part of her research, Locke will also examine issues surrounding effective leadership in education, a subject close to home, where Locke works in the field of educational policy and leadership studies in the College of Education--a program which prepares educators to be exceptional school leaders, professors, and policymakers. 

"Leaders are those who are able to set the tone for their schools," said Locke.  "How they do this in terms of justice and equity is central to my work.  I am eager to learn about how leaders do this in the Mexican context."


Learn more about the UI Resources for applying to the F. Scholar Program

University faculty members at all stages of their careers can apply to become Fulbright Scholars. Grant recipients can teach, do research abroad, or a combination of both for time periods ranging from 2-6 weeks up to a semester or entire year.

For faculty interested in applying for a Fulbright, Locke shares the following advice: 

"Attend the information sessions on campus and the webinars offered through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES)—they are very helpful. The folks in the International Programs office (like UI Fulbright Scholar Program Liaison Karen Wachsmuth) are also wonderful and are able to answer many questions. The most important piece though is the connection with the international scholar and/or the university/organization you want to work with.  Creating that connection and relationship can take some time. My best advice: be planful about your Fulbright."